The Princess and the Frog

The Princess and the Frog was a delight, both visually and musically. I can’t say that it broke any new ground in terms of music or visuals but the fact that it’s Disney’s’ first African-American princess was groundbreaking enough.

Tianna is a hard-working young woman who wants nothing more than to open her own restaurant in 1920s New Orleans. As she sings in her musical number, she’s almost there. Her rich friend, Lottie, wants nothing more than to marry a prince.

And a prince does arrive in the person of Prince Naveen. Naveen however is flat broke as his parents have cut him off without a red cent because Naveen prefers to enjoy himself and not be the responsible future king he’s supposed to be.

Naveen has come to New Orleans looking for a rich woman to marry but he runs afoul of the Shadow Man, a local voodoo practitioner, who turns him into a frog so that Naveen’s valet can be made to look like the prince, marry the rich heiress and the Shadow Man can have all that money.

Naveen, having heard, like Tianna, the story of the Frog Prince as a child goes in search of a princess to turn him human again. He comes across Tianna, who has just had her dreams of owning her restaurant dashed.

Tianna is dressed like a princess but it’s only a costume as it’s Mardi Gras. But Naveen does not know that. He convinces Tianna that if she kisses him, once he marries Lottie he will give her the money for her restaurant. However, because Tianna isn’t a real princess when she kisses Naveen she turns into a frog also.

From there on, the two must find a way to become human again while making their way through the bayou, avoiding being eaten or hunted, and learning that the two of them were, of course, meant for each other.

They are aided in their journey by a love-sick Cajun firefly (who is in love with a star) and a gator who wants nothing more than to play jazz but, well, he’s a gator. There’s a kind of screwball comedy aspect to Tianna and Naveen’s journey toward love which was very sweet.

I also liked the fact that, unlike a lot of animated movies today, there were no anachronistic jokes. All the characters were rooted in the time and milieu of 1920’s Louisiana, and whether it was New Orleans or the Bayou, the dialogue and jokes were of that time period.

It brought out the kid in me and the way I’ve been feeling of late, trust me, that’s a very good thing. The audience for the early morning showing I went to consisted of mostly little girls (and some little boys) with their parents or grandparents and judging from the reactions I think they all pretty much enjoyed the movie.

It’s definitely a child’s movie with its proverbial lessons of hard work, believing in oneself and learning to be worthy of love and a happily ever after, but the child in me loved it. And in the world we live in today where public conversation–especially in the media–seem to be nothing but cynicism and criticism and pessimism, maybe those aren’t bad lessons for us adults to take to heart.

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10 Responses to The Princess and the Frog

  1. Patricia says:

    Sounds like a great movie!

  2. jennareynolds says:

    I enjoyed it. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea but the older I get the more I’m gravitating away from the more cynical movies out there to ones that leave me feeling good when I walk out of the theater. I can turn on the news and feel bad. Which is why I don’t watch the news as much as I used to.

    My next review, however, is for a movie as diametrically opposed to The Princess and the Frog as can be imagined and yet left me feeling nearly as good at the end but for different reasons.

  3. Sounds like a lovely film. And a fascinating setting and time period.

  4. jennareynolds says:

    It was a lovely movie and I loved the setting and time period. 🙂

  5. GutterBall says:

    Ugh. I had a fairly long comment written about how much I enjoyed this flick and how unusual that was for someone like me, but it got eaten by the “didn’t fill in the fields” monster. Guh.

    At any rate, the highlights were that I was astonished to feel such warm fuzzies for Ray and his Evangeline — I added a joke about how maybe my personality card really is The Lovers, after all — and that Dr. Facilier’s song was full of infinite win, partly because it’s Keith David and partly because he’s got an echo you wouldn’t believe.

    Good flick, and that oughtta mean something coming from a heartless old scrooge like me. *wink*

  6. jennareynolds says:

    I’ve had that happen and it sucks big time when it does!

    As much I enjoyed the romance between Naveen and Tianna, it was Ray and his lovely Evangeline that really stole my heart. And the song he sings to her is so beautiful. Sorta of a Cajun waltz. Very lovely.

    As for Keith David as Dr. Faciler, no question he was great and I really enjoyed his song “Friends on the Otherside.” As Prince Naveen tries to explain to Tianna as to why he even got involved with him, he was “charismatic.”

    I don’t think you are as heartless as you try to make yourself out to be, GB! Not by a long shot. 🙂

    Saw Avatar on Christmas Day and am itching to write my review but have some of my own writing I really need to get finished first and then my review.

  7. gutterballgt says:

    I am so too heartless! *thunks chest* See? Echo-cho-oh-oh!

  8. jennareynolds says:

    LOL! You are too funny, GB. Well, the Tin Man thought he was heartless too and he had the biggest heart of all. 😉

  9. GutterBall says:

    Yeah, but he was a sap. *snerk* I am 100% sap free!

  10. jennareynolds says:

    Yeah, sure you are, GB. Sure you are. 🙂

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